We’ve all seen the headlines now…”20+ States asking the White House for permission to secede!”
I’ve heard the callers on radio show breathlessly comment on this exciting news! Look, it’s happening they say, the people are standing up.
We’re not trying to rain on anybody’s parade, but can we just step back for a moment and examine the facts here?
So far, approximately 500,000 people have signed a petition to ask permission for their State to secede from the Union. Sounds good doesn’t it? And in a real sense, it is a good thing. We should all be encouraged that 500,000 people seem to embrace the unalienable right to self-governance and self-determination.
But it also betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of the process of secession, you don’t ask permission to do so.
The 13 Colonies – “Dear King George, can we secede from England?”
King George – “NO!”
The 13 Colonies – “Okay!”
No, secession is one sovereign entity ending its legal relationship with another. It doesn’t require asking permission, it just does it. However, people as individuals cannot secede…it must be a secession through their State Legislature. Now in some of the States, if the people who signed the petition got organized, well then perhaps we’d have a real PEACEFUL secession effort on our hands from a few States.
Additionally, secession does not have to equate to violent revolution. In fact, the only reason secession would turn violent is because the so-called federal government would likely violently attack the seceding State. I’m not hearing of any State considering attacking Washington DC. Do you? Many political commentators will tell you that secession must equal violent revolution. But it doesn’t.
Think about this. How about when the USSR broke apart? Did Latvia violently overthrow Moscow to gain their independence? How about Poland; did it assault the Kremlin and demand independence? Or how about Iceland seceding from Denmark? There are many examples of one sovereign entity ending its legal relationship with another. Sadly, we tend to view secession through the lens of 1860 and an unnecessary so called “civil war.”
So here’s the facts about our Union. It was established at the end of the Revolutionary War that The King was ending hostilities with the 13 “sovereign and independent States.” Can you point to that document where the 13 States surrendered their sovereignty to another sovereign entity such as the federal government? Of course you can’t. The States are still sovereign, and as such have every unalienable right to secede if they want to.
None of the 13 States surrendered their sovereignty EVER. And that which was not surrendered is retained.
For example, the Delegates to the Virginia Ratification did not think they were surrendering their sovereignty to the newly created federal government. In fact, they said just the opposite; they said to the federal government, if you exceed your powers, we’ll resume them to ourselves at our will! Don’t believe me? Check out the link.
So how did we get to the point of asking a President like Obama to allow a State to secede? It’s simple, people don’t believe they are the power anymore and they don’t trust the so-called federal government. But I sense a tiny rebirth going on and this petition drive reflects a little of this. There’s at least 500,000 people who want out. That’s almost the population of Wyoming!
So, yes…the secession petition drive is a good thing because it’s raising the topic and people are talking about it. That said, I wish these people understood that if the people of a State want to secede, then just stand up and do it. And that they would begin organizing in their States to do so post haste instead of asking permission from Obama. Guess what his answer is gonna be?
So, the end analysis is this: Don’t ask for permission…just do it through the State Legislatures.
Psst…if you’re in a State that is going to properly secede, let me know, I’m joining you!